Heart Disease

Heart Disease

Heart disease is among the most common causes of death in the United States. It's important to realize that while nearly anyone may develop heart disease, there are a number of risk factors that can increase your likelihood of developing it. Some of these risk factors, such as age, sex (with men at higher risk) and genetics cannot be remedied, but other risk factors such as poor diet, lack of exercise, obesity and bad habits like smoking can be taken out of the equation. Health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol also make it more likely for individuals to develop heart disease. If you or a loved one is concerned about heart disease, read on to learn more about symptoms, treatment and prevention.

Heart disease is among the most common causes of death in the United States…

It's important to realize that while nearly anyone may develop heart disease, there are a number of risk factors that can increase your likelihood of developing it. Some of these risk factors, such as age, sex (with men at higher risk) and genetics cannot be remedied, but other risk factors such as poor diet, lack of exercise, obesity and bad habits like smoking can be taken out of the equation. Health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol also make it more likely for individuals to develop heart disease. If you or a loved one is concerned about heart disease, read on to learn more about symptoms, treatment and prevention.

One of the scariest things about heart disease is that many people will not realize they have it until they suffer from a heart attack, stroke or worse yet - heart failure. Characterized by narrowed or block blood vessels, heart disease occurs when vital parts of the body like the heart and brain are not receiving enough blood, potentially damaging them irreparably. Should symptoms occur, heart disease may cause chest pain, shortness of breath, and even pain or numbness in parts of the body. In individuals suffering from an abnormal heartbeat, patients may experience symptoms like a racing or slowed heartbeat, or perhaps even a fluttering of the heart. Other symptoms such as unexplained dizziness or lightheadedness may be a sign of heart disease as well. But these are just some of the symptoms those suffering from heart disease experience, all of which may be different for every person.

For those diagnosed with heart disease, it's important to not give up hope. Should you be suffering from heart disease, there are plenty of things you can do to treat it. If heart disease is caused by an infection, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat it. For heart disease cases likely cause by poor diet and lack of exercise, a doctor may recommend a special diet that is low in fat and low in sodium, along with moderate physical activity. Certain medications, such as anti-clotting medications, or medications designed to maintain a normal heart rhythm, may be prescribed to patients depending on their particular case. In some cases, heart surgery may be necessary, when lifestyle changes or medications are not enough to prevent heart failure.

If you haven't yet been diagnosed with heart disease, it is important to realize there are a number of things you can do to prevent it - and it is a battle you can win. If you are in danger of developing heart disease, there may be a number of lifestyle changes you'll need to consider. For one, people who smoke should quit, which will prevent heart disease, along with conditions like COPD and lung cancer. A couple of obvious things you should change are your eating habits, and you should make sure you are physically active, provided you aren't eating right and exercising already. If you are suffering from chronic stress, it is advisable to get that managed as well. Lastly, it is extremely important to manage problems like high blood pressure or high cholesterol. But these are just some of the things you can do to prevent heart disease. Talk to your doctor about these and other ways to prevent heart disease.